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Other Hot Book Discussions > Need a book recommendation - please help!

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message 1: by Laura (last edited Aug 12, 2009 07:33AM) (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments Hi Chicks!

I know I haven't been around here much lately, but things are kind of crazy at the moment. My only daughter is moving to college in one week.

I've been reading the BEST book EVER, but unfortunately it's coming to a close - (The Blind Assassin, if anyone's interested).] This book has been the perfect book therapy. It's kept me so absorbed in the story, that all the worries and what-if's, etc. have been kept to a minimum. The only thing is - I need a replacement for it, yesterday!

So here are the elements I'm looking for:

1. Puzzles, questions for your brain to work over. The author plants clues, and you often find yourself flipping backward because "ooh, she's mentioned that hotel before, what was that about" or "she threw out the name of that book before, I know she did". You know, that kind of thing. Always keeps you guessing, and wondering.

2. Beautiful writing. Just gorgeous language that flows effortlessly and seamlessly. Feels completely natural.

3. Insights insights - in this case, the main character is a woman in her 80's, looking back to her younger days. She is so wise! A bit crotchety, but I love her. In fact, she can come live in my (new) spare room anytime she wants! I love older women main characters.

4. Mysterious deaths - always a plus, but not necessary.

So this is what I'm looking for. Mainly the first two. The others would be a bonus, but aren't absolutely necessary.

Any help with this is very very much appreciated.

Thanks Chicks!


message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments Is anyone familiar with Possession A Romance? I'm considering this one, it was the 1990 Booker prize winner.


message 3: by Rose (new)

Rose (roseo) Margaret Atwood writes beautifully! She has written many books, perhaps you should try another one of her's. I read The Handmaid's Tale and really enjoyed it.


message 4: by Rose (new)

Rose (roseo) Oh, I just thought of an excellent book I've read: The White Tiger - Aravind Adigawon the 2008 Man Booker Prize.


message 5: by Elena (new)

Elena | 129 comments The Woman in White, I think it has everything you are looking for.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments Thanks Rose, I really loved this Atwood, but I'm not really into dystopia at all. Otherwise I'd probably read everything she wrote! The White Tiger looks good tho, thanks!

Elena - I've read the Woman in White and I did love it. I was actually thinking about Moonstone or another one by Collins for this. Good thought!


message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments What about The Brothers Karamazov? Has anyone read that one? I'm not sure if there's a mysterious death in it tho.


message 8: by Rose (new)

Rose (roseo) check out the synopsis by clicking on the book titles, Laura. ;-) The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield


Elizabeth (Alaska) Good one, Rose, The Thirteenth Tale is delicious. As is Shadow of the Wind, if you haven't yet read that one Laura. No old woman, but a fun read, about as close to a melodrama as modern literature can provide.


message 10: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments I LOVED The Thirteenth Tale!! Loved it! And also Atonement - this one has reminded me of Atonement several times. Also a really great one if you're looking for these elements.

Shadow of the Wind will have to look - is that magical realism?


Elizabeth (Alaska) I have heard Shadow called magical realism. I think I don't really know what that means. It has been explained to me, but I still don't "get" it.


message 12: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments Shadow of the Wind looks promising too!


message 13: by Cindy (last edited Aug 12, 2009 12:39PM) (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 1774 comments I think for your criteria, I will definitely recommend the one I'm reading now The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton!
A couple more that I can recommend are: More Than You Know A Novel by Beth Guthcheon which has the element of suspense written by an older woman looking back on events.
And I really liked Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson which I believe also contains some of these elements. I may be in the minority on the last two recommendations, but I gave them both 5 stars!


Elizabeth (Alaska) Cindy, I finally made the top of the wait list for The Forgotten Garden, and I'm so excited. It's next month's read. Kate Morton's first novel, The House at Riverton might be worth a look too, Laura.


message 15: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments I tried House at Riverton and couldn't get into for some reason. It might have just been the wrong time.

Cindy, I've not heard of your last two, will def. look into them.

I can't resist old women (or even old men) in stories.


message 16: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 1774 comments I am enjoying The Forgotten Garden much more than House at Riverton!

Elizabeth, Did you enjoy House at Riverton? Can't wait for views about The Forgotten Garden! Really enjoying it; should be reading instead of on the computer! :)


message 17: by Vikki (new)

Vikki | 304 comments Laura wrote: "Hi Chicks!

I know I haven't been around here much lately, but things are kind of crazy at the moment. My only daughter is moving to college in one week.

I've been reading the BEST book EVER,..."


Have you read any of Stieg Larsson's Millinium Triology? I read the first one The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I was the same way you were, going back looking up the clues, I was totally immersed. I have the second of the trilogy and I'm trying to make myself wait to read it because I know the third won't be out here in the US for some time but I've already ordered it from the U.K. when it releases in October. I just can't wait to get my nose in it.


message 18: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 1774 comments Laura wrote: Cindy, I've not heard of your last two, will def. look into them.

I can't resist old ..."


Just thought of another one you might enjoy!

Time Is a River by Mary Alice Monroe


Elizabeth (Alaska) Does anyone else do their best thinking in the shower? Anyway, I thought of one that might be a little different for you, Laura: The Polished Hoe A Novel. I read this perhaps 18 months ago, but I still think of it occasionally. A murder, but not a mystery; there are questions, and a lot of tension throughout; the woman isn't in her 80s, but she definitely was an established person in the community for a long time.


message 20: by Peanut (new)

Peanut | 149 comments Well number one can be accomplished with The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It is a series of books with one of the most interesting premise I've read in some time.

As for it being beautiful writing? I don't know about that!

Glad to hear you liked Blind Assassin. I couldn't finish it. I haven't given up on it but I had to put it down since it wasn't want I wanted/needed to read at the time.


message 21: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 2175 comments Laura I would recommend The Night Villa A Novel. It's a fairly quick mystery type read, but it's got a lot of information about ancient myths. I would also suggest In the Woods if you like crime novels, but would caution that it gets pretty intense.
Good luck! I know how hard it is to replace a perfect book.


message 22: by Rose (new)

Rose (roseo) Yes, Peanut, I did the same thing.


message 23: by Mary (last edited Aug 15, 2009 11:53PM) (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 202 comments Anna's Book by Barbara Vine (aka Ruth Rendell)

The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve


message 24: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) | 1586 comments Laura, take a look at The Little Book. I couldn't begin to summarize it without spoilers, but I think it has a lot of the elements you're looking for.


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